Why haven't the Miami Dolphins extended QB Tua Tagovailoa?

2024 NFL Pro Bowl Games
2024 NFL Pro Bowl Games / James Gilbert/GettyImages
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Tua Tagovailoa showed he’s an above-average starter in the 2023 regular season; staying healthy and putting up fantastic numbers, which comes off the back of his 2022 season where he threw for 3,548 yards and 25 touchdowns, showing glimpses of brilliance. But the Miami Dolphins don’t seem to be in a rush to extend the former No. 5 overall pick. The Fins are at a bit of a crossroads with Tua Tagovailoa, debating whether to lock him into a long-term deal. The buzz is that Tua’s extension could be worth $50M annually.. After he allegedly turned down a contract extension, those rumors might be true.

In 2023, he continued to impress with 4,312 yards and 28 touchdowns. Those stats scream franchise QB, but the Dolphins shouldn't rush this decision. His injury history and inconsistency are red flags that can't be ignored. While the NFL Media, like ESPN's Unsportsmanlike are hyping up the idea that Chris Grier is trying to justify drafting Tua ahead of Justin Herbert, so paying the former No. 5 overall pick does that. While Tua has the potential, Miami needs to weigh its options carefully before committing to a massive contract.

3. Offensive Line Woes

There’s a theme when it comes to the Miami Dolphins franchise, and that’s the lack of offensive line play. There’s an argument to be made that Tua’s success was in spite of the offensive line. He gets rid of the ball quicker than most quarterbacks in the NFL. However, that’s due to Mike McDaniel’s one read scheme. While Tua is one of the better quarterbacks for such a system he hasn’t shown he could take the next step and do more with less.

The Dolphins’ offensive line situation is a bit of a head-scratcher. Sure, they grabbed Patrick Paul in the second round of the 2024 NFL Draft, but let’s be honest, he’s more of a backup plan for the often-injured Terron Armstead than an immediate upgrade. Armstead’s injury history has been a thorn in Miami’s side, missing chunks of the season and leaving Tua vulnerable. Patrick Paul is a promising tackle, but his role is largely seen as an insurance policy rather than a definitive solution.

And what about the center position?

Aaron Brewer has stepped in, but the position remains a significant question mark with Brewer's inconsistencies. The interior line, which includes guard Lester Cotton and others, hasn’t been dominant either. By not aggressively upgrading the offensive line, especially the interior, the Dolphins might be testing Tua’s ability to perform under pressure. Can he shine without a perfect setup? That’s a big question mark and perhaps a sign that Miami isn’t ready to lock in a massive contract just yet​ considering they need help up front.